Horse racing in South Africa

Horse racing is a hugely popular sport in South Africa, with regular racing taking place around the country. The sport in South Africa enjoys a long and rich history that can be traced back to 1797! The first recorded race club meeting took place five years later in 1802.

The national horse racing body is known as the National Horse Racing Authority and previously operated under the name of The Jockey Club of South Africa. It was founded in 1882.

Racing in South Africa is controlled by two bodies: Phumelela Gaming and Leisure Limited, and Gold Circle. Phumelela controls racing in the Free State, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Gauteng, while Gold Circle has the reins in the Western Cape and Kwazulu-Natal.

There are three major races that stand out above the rest, one in each of the three biggest cities in the country. Turfontein in Johannesburg hosts The Summer Cup, while Cape Town’s star attraction is The J & B Met. Durban’s primary event is The Vodacom July, which was first run in 1897 at its present home, Greyville.

Saftote controls the big-money betting industry. It is the banner under which Phumelela and Gold Circle work their totalisator. The betting system is controlled by the Maryland, USA-based company that designed it. All tote equipment has been given the South African Bureau of Standards’ stamp of approval.

Horse racing tracks in South Africa


Arlington Race Course
Schoenmakerskop Road, Walmer, Port Elizabeth
Tel: (041) 366 1666

Fairview Race Course
Draaifontein Road, Greenbushes, Port Elizabeth
Tel: (041) 372 1859


Vaal Race Course
Ascot Road, Viljoensdrif
Tel: (016) 457 6000


North Rand Training Centre
Olievenhoutbosch Road, Randjesfontein
(011) 314 1954

Turffontein Race Course
Turf Club Street, Turffontein, Johannesburg
Tel: (011) 681 1500


Clairwood Turf Club
89 Barrier Lane, Merebank, Durban
Tel: (031) 469 1020

Greyville Turf Club
150 Avondale Road, Greyville, Durban
Tel: (031) 314 1651

Scottsville Race Course
45 New England Road, Pietermaritzburg
Tel: (033) 345 3405


Flamingo Park Race Course
78 Boshoff Road, Kimberley
Tel: (053) 843 0011


Durbanville Race Course
Bowlers Way, Durbanville, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 975 2524

Kenilworth Race Course (Regional office)
Rosmead Avenue, Kenilworth, Cape Town
Tel: (021) 700 1600

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